Let's face facts. You wrote a book. You spent, at minimum, a whole year creating a wonderful story, painstakingly going over it repeatedly to make sure each sentence was perfect. You had a professional editor comb through it for flaws and errors - and corrected those found. You paid for a ultra-fantastic image for the cover of your book. And to a lackluster fanfare, you release it for...
No wait! You only set the price at that ridiculously low price so Amazon would take it. Actually, you're currently running a special where the price is...
That's right. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. Nothing. etc etc etc
You ain't making a dime and in the thrill of it all, you have given away 3,783 copies so far in only 4.2 hours! The book is quickly gaining speed and is in the number 1 spot on Kindle for some obtuse extraneous category.
The days of free giveaway expire and in giddy high of being overwhelmed you sit back and breathe. In the short length of free-feeding-frenzy, your book was downloaded by an awesome total of 10,861 people and you have claimed the number 1 free book position for a day.
The Day After...
Like any drunk, the morning after comes and your head is still spinning over the prior day's activities. You jump onto the computer and check your status... and your sales.
The price is now $.99 and you have 3 ... yes, THREE sales. You've made a buck-nickle. You smile.
The Following Week...
You drag yourself to the computer and grudgingly log into Kindle for possible validation of sales.
In the seven days since your free giveaway, you have sold a total of 5 - FIVE - ebooks. Royalty: $1.75.
At this point in the story, there are other possible scenarios as to what will happen next...
1) Go to the park and feed the pigeons.
2) Call a friend and whine.
3) Start a new book using "sour grapes" theory to write a better book.
4) Evaluate marketing strategy.
IF ... IF you decide on step 4, the first thing you must realize is your net worth. You spent a year on that last book and gave away over 10k copies. Step back and re-evaluate...
If you'd set the newly released book price at $2.99, $3.99 or even $4.99... AND then sold it on Release Day for a mere $.99 -- think of the sales figures. Even if you only sold 1,000 copies...
$.35 (Amazon royalty) X 1,000 ebooks = $350.00
Now, take that times 10 for the 10,000 books you gave away. Yes... $3,500.00
That is $3,500 you lost in possible revenue. Now let's look at the real facts.
If you'd had sold 1,000 copies at $2.99 - royalty rate of 70% or about $2.10 would equal $2,100.00. So, if you take that times 10 again, the figure is a tidy $21,000.00. That same number at $4.99 would be a whopping $35,000.00
I've read the books where some authors "sell" the concept that you should price your books $.99 and go for the 'cheap' sales ruse.
Is your book not worth more? Who has decided that you should only ask $.99 for a copy of your work? Why buy into a conspiracy? Yes, a conspiracy. If you've spent the time to write and edit a novel AND paid to have it professionally edited AND paid for a professional cover, you deserve to price your book like the big boys AKA Big Publishers. You don't see Simon and Schuster, Random House or one of the other BIG 6 Publishers pricing their books at $.99 and/or giving them away for free.
Oh wait! You gave your books away for free so you could get your name out there. Well, why didn't you say that. My question is this - How's that working out for you? Does anyone know you now? Oh, and how much food is that putting on the table?
Yes, I'm being sarcastic. I feel I'm worth more than $.99 and you should, too. Yes, I did have my books at $.99. They are now selling at higher prices. When a reader buys a copy of my book, I know that reader is going to read it because they spent good money. A free copy can linger on an ereader for an eternity. I know this for a fact. How? When I first got my ereader I snagged a lot of free copies and so far, (shame on me!) I've only read a few of them. I don't give my books away anymore ... unless I'm at a conference and I offer it as a door prize.
You've written a book - you're an author.
So, now I ask you again... Are you only worth $.99?
Until next I ramble on...